TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Scott Thanks Walt Disney Company for $1 Million Donation for Hurricane Relief
    FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Scott Thanks Walt Disney Company for $1 Million Donation for Hurricane Relief

Giuliani: Trump would fight subpoena, not pardon himself

WASHINGTON (AP) — An attorney for President Donald Trump stressed Sunday that the president’s legal team would contest any effort to force the president to testify in front of a grand jury during the special counsel’s Russia probe but downplayed the idea that Trump could pardon himself.

Rudy Giuliani, in a series of television interviews, emphasized one of the main arguments in a newly unveiled letter sent by Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller back in January: that a president can’t be given a grand jury subpoena as part of the investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.

But he distanced himself from one of their bolder arguments in the letter, which was first reported Saturday by The New York Times, that a president could not have committed obstruction of justice because he has authority to “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

“Pardoning himself would be unthinkable and probably lead to immediate impeachment,” Giuliani told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ″And he has no need to do it, he’s done nothing wrong.”

The former New York City mayor, who was not on the legal team when the letter was written, added that Trump “probably does” have the power to pardon himself, an assertion challenged by legal scholars, but says the president’s legal team hasn’t discussed that option, which many observers believe could plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis.

“I think the political ramifications would be tough,” Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week.” ″Pardoning other people is one thing, pardoning yourself is tough.”

Trump has issued two unrelated pardons in recent days and discussed others, a move that has been interpreted as a possible signal to allies ensnared in the Russia probe.

The letter is dated Jan. 29 and addressed to Mueller from John Dowd, a Trump lawyer who has since resigned from the legal team. Mueller has requested an interview with the president to determine whether he had criminal intent to obstruct the investigation into his associates’ possible links to Russia’s election interference.

Giuliani said Sunday that a decision about an interview would not be made until after Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore, and he cast doubt that it would occur at all.

“I mean, we’re leaning toward not,” Giuliani told ABC. “But look, if they can convince us that it will be brief, it would be to the point, there were five or six points they have to clarify, and with that, we can get this — this long nightmare for the — for the American public over.”

Trump’s legal team has long pushed the special counsel to narrow the scope of its interview. Giuliani also suggested that Trump’s lawyers had been incorrect when they denied that the president was involved with the letter that offered an explanation for Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians who offered damaging information on Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“This is the reason you don’t let the president testify,” Giuliani told ABC. “Our recollection keeps changing, or we’re not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption.”

If Trump does not consent to an interview, Mueller will have to decide whether to go forward with a historic grand jury subpoena. His team raised the possibility in March of subpoenaing the president, but it is not clear if it is still under active consideration.

A court battle is likely if Trump’s team argues that the president can’t be forced to answer questions or be charged with obstruction of justice. President Bill Clinton was charged with obstruction in 1998 by the House of Representatives as part of his impeachment trial. And one of the articles of impeachment prepared against President Richard Nixon in 1974 was for obstruction.

Giuliani suggested Sunday that, despite the president’s broad powers, a theoretical charge of obstruction may be possible in some cases. Topics of Mueller’s obstruction investigation include the firings of FBI director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, as well as Trump’s reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia investigation.

In addition to the legal battles, Trump’s team and allies have waged a public relations campaign against Mueller and the Justice Department to discredit the investigation and soften the impact of the special counsel’s potential findings. Giuliani said last week that the special counsel probe may be an “entirely illegitimate investigation” and need to be curtailed because, in his estimation, it was based on inappropriately obtained information from an informant and Comey’s memos.

In reality, the FBI began a counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 to determine if Trump campaign associates were coordinating with Russia to tip the election. The investigation was opened after the hacking of Democratic emails that intelligence officials later formally attributed to Russia.

Trump’s team has asked for a briefing about the informant, but Giuliani said Sunday that the president would not order the Justice Department to comply because it would negatively affect public opinion. But he continued to cast doubt on the special counsel’s eventual findings, suggesting that Trump has already offered explanations for the matters being investigated and that the special counsel was biased against the president.

“For every one of these things he did, we can write out five reasons why he did it,” Giuliani said. “If four of them are completely innocent and one of them is your assumption that it’s a guilty motive, which (Trump) would deny, you can’t possibly prosecute him.”

The special counsel’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump, who was spending a rainy Washington weekend at Camp David, also unleashed a new attack on the Justice Department, which he has repeatedly painted as corrupt and biased against him.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of “Justice” have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign? Should have told me!” Trump tweeted.

Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman, faces charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent and money-laundering conspiracy and also two false-statement charges related to information he shared with the Justice Department about his Ukrainian political work. Trump has argued that the claims predate Manafort’s involvement with his Republican campaign. The FBI has not said it told the campaign about the investigation, though the bureau did provide a routine briefing for the campaign about foreign counterintelligence threats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Pompeo meets with Turkish leaders on missing Saudi writer

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A pro-government Turkish newspaper on Wednesday published a gruesome recounting of…

Scope of Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Michael killed at least 16 people in Florida, most…

Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over…

[OPINION] POLITICS AT ITS WORST... It's not just a DC thing!

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Recently I reported on social media a verbal assault my…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

AG Pam Bondi: Andrew Gillum Must Denounce Rapper T.I.’s Video

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The rapper T.I. recently unveiled an offensive music video which depicted a demeaning and disgusting…

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Seniors First Host Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Senior Hunger

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) -  In conjunction with World Food Day, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer…

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Elected Officials Representing All or Part of Orange County

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September…

Kissimmee City Commission Candidate Andrew Jeng Rolls Out His Agenda for Diversity & Inclusion

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Andrew Jeng campaign announced Jeng's agenda for fostering diversity…

SPORTS NEWS

  • Orlando's Jarell Martin (2) fires off a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies at Amway Center Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.
    ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Orlando Magic continued their winning ways at home by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies by the score of 102-86. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Orlando's Slow Start Causes Loss To Spurs

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - After having their best performance of the short preseason Wednesday…

Orlando Improves to 2-0 At Home in the Preseason

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - On a night where almost every Magic player on the…

Orlando Magic sign John Petrucelli, cut B.J. Johnson

Orlando, FL – The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard John Petrucelli, President of Basketball Operations…

Buccaneers promote defensive end Demone Harris, cut Will Clarke

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today the team has promoted defensive end Demone Harris from the practice…

Athletes, Coaches, Volunteers Made Celebrities at Special Olympics Florida Champions' Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The red carpet rolled out for Special Olympics Florida’s Annual Champion’s…

UCF Knights Carve Up SMU Mustangs with 48-20 win

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The UCF Knights (1-0 AAC, 4-0 overall) had a hot…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Trade War Escalates as China Announces Tariffs on US Imports

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-China trade war escalated further Tuesday, with China announcing retaliatory tax…

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh Appeals Decision On Disney Property Valuation

Orlando, FL – Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA), Rick Singh, today announced that an appeal…

Governor Scott Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Remembrance of 9/11

TALLAHASSEE - In honor and remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives in the…

ESSENCE Debuts Lebron James’ Captivating Social Media Campaign “The Strongest” Celebrating 16 Strong Black Women

NEW YORK, NY (FNN NEWS) — Source: ESSENCE // ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and…

Amway Founder and Orlando Magic Owner Richard DeVos Dies at 92

DETROIT (AP) — Billionaire Richard DeVos, co-founder of direct-selling giant Amway, owner of the Orlando…

Nike Unveils Kaepernick Ad to Air During NFL Season Opener

Nike has unveiled its first “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

AG Pam Bondi: Andrew Gillum Must Denounce Rapper T.I.’s Video

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The rapper T.I. recently unveiled an offensive music video which depicted a demeaning and disgusting…

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK (AP) — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer is yes,…

New Kids On The Block Announce The Mixtape Tour With Very Special Guests Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson And Naughty By Nature

NEW YORK  -- Today New Kids On The Block, the multiplatinum selling pop super-group, unveiled an epic lineup for…

Country Music Icon Martina McBride Entertains From The Kitchen On New Food Network Series Martina's Table

NEW YORK, Food Network -- As a music megastar, Martina McBride has entertained fans with her songs for years,…

Academy Presents Careers In Film Summit In Los Angeles, London, Atlanta and New York 

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy will present its 4th annual Careers in Film Summit on Saturday,…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Athletes, Coaches, Volunteers Made Celebrities at Special Olympics Florida Champions' Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The red carpet rolled out for Special Olympics Florida’s Annual Champion’s…

Onward to Greatness: Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock Envisions Greater Growth, Awareness for Athletes

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Special Olympics Florida will host its annual Champions' Gala at…

Orange County Nursing Home Faces Legal Action, State Investigations After Elected Official's 911 Call

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nursing home negligence of residents has become a top priority…

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (FNN NEWS) – Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss…

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 31, 2018, for…